It's late on a Saturday night. The Memoirs Of A Fire Hazard stats page informs me that I haven't written anything since August 31. As uninspired and useless as I feel tonight, I'm doing it. This is me forcing myself. It may show.
So what's new since the end of August? Well, I had another birthday last week. Last Monday I turned 37 years old. The day itself was notable only for the kind messages of over 60 of you on Facebook, for which I thank you profoundly, some garlic bread, peri-peri chicken and creamy mash at Nandos and a ridiculous Will Ferrell film called The Campaign.
At some point you will be able to read my thoughts on that in a little more detail on my film blog, but for tonight I'm going to ramble on about age again. I have just finished reading back through the blog I wrote on the day I turned 36. It's grim reading to be totally honest. In that respect not a whole lot has changed. I woke up this morning feeling like the world's worst person. A night out with my work colleagues was all it took for me to over-indulge, and leave myself with that old feeling of rabid paranoia and a general lack of self worth. I was selfish and stupid enough to point this out to the 300 or so Facebook friends that I have. I don't know why, I just felt compelled to tell everyone how I felt. All of which probably worried some people unnecessarily for which I profusely apologise. It was nice to know that you cared.
The trouble is that this is becoming a theme in my life. Shortly after my 36th birthday an almost comical set of circumstances sent me spiralling towards the basement mental health-wise. One month after that I showed my stunning flare for the childish hissy fit by shutting this blog down. I just couldn't physically write. It was all too negative. By February I was borderline depressive and so started to seek some help. I'm still getting that help and the good news is that it works. Until you get crazily blasted and your alcohol-flooded mind starts telling you that you are actually a useless tit. At that point you are heading back to square one and it might be time to knock the alcohol on the head again. From October to December last year I quit drinking alcohol altogether and it wasn't that difficult. I will do it again this year I'm sure. I just have one more birthday night out to overcome.
If I don't drink I will have more opportunity to drive. I have just got back on the road after an 11-year absence. A protracted and pointless spat with Motability which began in the summer of 2001 finally ended early this summer when they agreed to waive the debt on my last vehicle and allow me to lease a new one. That first day behind the wheel was nerve-wracking for a while. Who knew that driving through a McDonald's from St.Helens Ford and back home again would be so stressful? I was quite convinced I was going to cause a 42 car pile-up. Yet by the time I drove down to Sheffield for the wedding of Emma's cousin on the last weekend in September I was finding it all a lot more easy. Now it is second nature again, although hilariously I was unable to advise Emma yesterday on how to get the gear stick to move and had to push back to the car park from the pub near work to do it myself. Even then I couldn't work out why it wouldn't move until I actually got in the car and tried to reverse it. You have to hold the brake down to enable you to put it in gear. Turns out I only know this when I do it and can't describe it, like some kind of complex move on a video game.
The second and only other goal I have in mind in my 38th year is to write a novel. If this sounds like an oft told tale to those of you who who have known me long enough well yes, you're right. It is. But this time, unlike my other two fairly successful but utterly unpublished attempts, I am going to do it in a single month. November, aswell as being known for inspiring people to grow ludicrous moustaches in the name of charity, is also Nanowrimo. Nano-what now? National Novel Writing Month. I've read all the bumph and apparently it is not only plausible to do so but actually quite simple. Really. Right. I've already started my planning and researched some techniques.
I just need to find the time in between entries in Memoirs Of A Fire Hazard.